South Africa's Deputy Minister of Energy Barbara Thompson told CNBC Africa that the mandate for the fuels charter was very clear in terms of the empowerment of women and other sectors however, it has not been implemented by the petroleum industry itself.
"What we need to do is to try and pull all the pieces together and see how we could promote it, and make sure that it does what it’s intended to do,” she said.
“Currently, to be honest and frank, our women are not being empowered. They are at the bottom of the ladder, we need to beef it up.”
The Petroleum and Liquid Fuels Charter (LFC) is aimed at ensuring that companies in the energy industry are, at least, 25 per cent black-owned.
It also covers guidelines on employment equity, enterprise development, skills development and preferential procurement, to name a few. The LFC has, however, failed to do enough for gender equality.
Thompson believes that there are a number of common challenges and prospects for women in the energy sector.
“We have great hopes in terms of the new legislation that is coming into being. The gender equality legislation is actually going to force industry, government to make sure that we adhere to the gender equality challenge.”
She added that proposed amendments to another charter, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Act, would not deter investors from the energy sector or the country.
“What government would do and what [its] mandate is, is to make sure that we pull in investors instead of scaring them away.”